What's this?

commandlinefu.com is the place to record those command-line gems that you return to again and again.

Delete that bloated snippets file you've been using and share your personal repository with the world. That way others can gain from your CLI wisdom and you from theirs too. All commands can be commented on, discussed and voted up or down.

If you have a new feature suggestion or find a bug, please get in touch via http://commandlinefu.uservoice.com/

Get involved!

You can sign-in using OpenID credentials, or register a traditional username and password.

First-time OpenID users will be automatically assigned a username which can be changed after signing in.

Universal configuration monitoring and system of record for IT.

Stay in the loop…

Follow the Tweets.

Every new command is wrapped in a tweet and posted to Twitter. Following the stream is a great way of staying abreast of the latest commands. For the more discerning, there are Twitter accounts for commands that get a minimum of 3 and 10 votes - that way only the great commands get tweeted.

» http://twitter.com/commandlinefu
» http://twitter.com/commandlinefu3
» http://twitter.com/commandlinefu10

Subscribe to the feeds.

Use your favourite RSS aggregator to stay in touch with the latest commands. There are feeds mirroring the 3 Twitter streams as well as for virtually every other subset (users, tags, functions,…):

Subscribe to the feed for:



May 19, 2015 - A Look At The New Commandlinefu
I've put together a short writeup on what kind of newness you can expect from the next iteration of clfu. Check it out here.
March 2, 2015 - New Management
I'm Jon, I'll be maintaining and improving clfu. Thanks to David for building such a great resource!

Top Tags





Commands tagged expansion from sorted by
Terminal - Commands tagged expansion - 6 results
command ${MYVAR:+--someoption=$MYVAR}
2015-11-04 19:47:24
User: pdxdoughnut
Functions: command

See "Parameter Expansion" in the bash manpage. They refer to this as "Use Alternate Value", but we're including the var in the at alternative.

bind '"\C-e":"\eb `which \ef`\e\C-e"'
2011-01-26 16:11:52
User: jennings6k

Tested with bash v4.1.5 on ubuntu 10.10


as written above, only works for programs with no file extention (i.e 'proggy', but not 'proggy.sh')

because \eb maps to readine function backward-word rather then shell-backward-word (which

is unbinded by default on ubuntu), and correspondingly for \ef.

if you're willing to have Ctrl-f and Ctrl-g taken up too , you can insert the following lines

into ~/.inputrc, in which case invoking Ctrl-e will do the right thing both for "proggy" and "proggy.sh".

-- cut here --



"\C-e":"\C-f`which \C-g`\e\C-e"

-- cut here --

rm *.txt <TAB> <TAB>
2010-11-04 13:58:15
User: boschi
Functions: rm

alternative for "echo rm *.txt". Just doubletab the command you are willing to use and it will show you the affected files.

echo rm *.txt
2010-10-27 07:26:26
User: alperyilmaz
Functions: echo rm

if you're using wildcards * or ? in your command, and if you're deleting, moving multiple files, it's always safe to see how those wildcards will expand. if you put "echo" in front of your command, the expanded form of your command will be printed. It's better safe than sorry.

setlocal enabledelayedexpansion
2010-08-10 12:26:43
User: Marco

Usually the MS-DOS cmd.exe processes in the whole FOR loop as one command and expands each var like %varname% in before (except the loop var of course).

This command enables expansion of other vars than only the loop var during the FOR loop. The syntax of the var to expand is then !varname! inside the FOR loop.

Use command


to end the setlocal command.

E.g. (only works from batch files, not from commandline directly):

@echo off

setlocal enabledelayedexpansion

FOR %%A IN (*) DO (

set file=%%A

echo !file!



echo ${fullpath##*/}
2010-07-21 22:35:29
User: quincymd
Functions: echo

Quick method of isolating filenames from a full path using expansion.

Much quicker than using "basename"